THE LATEST INVESTMENTS: ASTON MARTIN, FABERGE & CHRISTOPHER KANE

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Orient Express turns down a $1.8 billion takeover bid from Indian Hotels Group, as mining company Gemfields seeks to acquire fine jeweller Fabergé for $142 million.

Acquired: Fabergé, Gemfields

Gemfields, pending minority investor approval, is to buy luxury jeweler Faberge from one of the colored gem miner’s own shareholders, in a deal valuing the fine jeweller at $142 million. The all-share deal will create an integrated company that mines colored stones and uses the Faberge brand to promote their use in jewelery.

Source: Reuters
Speculation: Sale, Aston Martin

Investment Dar Co., owner of Aston Martin, is said to be in “advanced” talks to sell new shares to investors to boost funding for future development. The Kuwaiti based investment group has received competing bids from Investindustrial and Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. (MM) for 50% of voting rights and a 40% equity stake.

Source: Bloomberg
Rejected: Takeover Bid, Orient-Express

Orient-Express has rejected an unsolicited $1.2 billion takeover offer from Tata Group’s Indian Hotels Co Ltd and a fund controlled by Italy’s Montezemolo & Partners. The unsolicited bid was 43% higher than Orient-Express’s 20-day average price, a record premium for the industry, and valued the company at the highest earnings multiple in six years for a hotel takeover.

Source: Reuters, WSJ
Acquired: Investcorp, Georg Jensen

Bahrain-based alternative asset manager, Investcorp, has purchased Danish luxury retailer Georg Jensen for $140 million. Hazem Ben-Gacem, Investcorp’s European private equity head, will co-chair Georg Jensen, as saying Investcorp planned to expand the Danish brand in Asia, particularly China.

Source: Reuters
Speculation: PPR, Christopher Kane

PPR, helmed by Francois-Henri Pinault, is said to be in discussions with Christopher Kane, to invest in his eponymous brand. The company is believed to have held discussions with Christopher Kane in which financial backing has been offered. Nothing has yet been confirmed and representatives for PPR and Kane were unavailable for comment.

Source: Vogue UK
Acquired: Vionnet, Goga Ashkenazi

Kazakh oil billionaire Goga Ashkenazi has acquired all outstanding shares in Vionnet to become its sole owner. Ms. Ashkenazi bought into Vionnet in May 2012, but has since purchased all remaining shares from past owners Matteo Marzotto and Marni CEO Gianni Castiglioni.

Source: Elle UK
Boughtback: Derek Lam, Labelux

In a bid to refocus on luxury leather goods and shoes, Labelux has sold Derek Lam back to its founders, Lam and CEO Jan-Hendrik Schlottmann. “We have taken a strategic decision to refocus our activity on luxury leather goods and shoes,” explained CEO Reinhard Mieck said. “We wish Derek and Jan well as we return the leadership into their capable hands.”

Source: Fashionista
Invested: Damiani, India

Damiani is the first foreign investor to get the government approval to invest in the jewellery monobrand retail in India, after working with the Indian government to acquire 51% of Damiani India Pvt Ltd, the company managing the Damiani store in New Delhi at the Oberoi Hotel. Damiani will then agree to establish a joint venture with Indian partners.

Source: Damiani
Confirmed: Karl Lagerfeld, Inter Parfums

Karl Lagerfeld has signed a 20 year worldwide license agreement with Inter Parfums, to create and distribute perfumes under the German fashion designer’s namesake brand. Karl Lagerfeld has since ended its deal with fragrance and cosmetics company Coty BV.

Source: Reuters
Sold: Plaza Hotel, Subrata Roy

Indian billionaire Subrata Roy has purchased a 75% stake in New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel for $575m from US-Israeli retailer El Ad. The remaining 25% of the hotel is being retained by its current owner, Prince Alwaleed bin Talal of Saudi Arabia, via his Kingdom Holding group.

Source: BBC
Rejected: Four Seasons Hotel NYC, Asian Buyer

Four Seasons Hotel New York owner H. Ty Warner has decided not to sell the Manhattan property after receiving an unsolicited bid of about $900 million. “Due to the continued strength in the New York real estate market and impending fiscal cliff, he does not feel that this is an advantageous time to sell this iconic property,” explained Donna Snopek, chief financial officer of Ty Warner Hotels and Resorts LLC.

Source: Bloomberg
Invested: DiamondCorp, Laurelton Diamonds

Laurelton Diamonds Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Tiffany & Co., has issued a $6 million term loan to DiamondCorp plc, a South African diamond development and exploration company listed on London’s AIM stock exchange. As part of the loan agreement, Laurelton Diamonds will have the right to purchase production from DiamondCorp’s Lace Mine in South Africa.

Source: WWD
Stake: Luxottica, Salmoiraghi & Viganò

Salmoiraghi & Viganò, a leading Italian company in the eyewear retail sector, has received approximately €45 million from eyewear manufacturer Luxottica. Luxottica will subscribe for newly issued shares of Salmoiraghi & Viganò resulting in a 36% equity stake in the Italian optical retailer, which will retain control of company operations.

Source: 4Traders
Acquired: Four Seasons Toronto, Saudi Prince Walid

Billionaire Saudi Prince Walid bin Talal’s Kingdom Holding investment group has purchased the luxury hotel Four Seasons Toronto, Canada for $200 million. “The transaction was funded by a $130 million mortgage loan while $70 million came from (the company’s) own resources,” Hazem al-Dosari, a Kingdom Holding Company (KHC) spokesman, told AFP.

Source: Al Arabiya
Sold: Ekati Diamond Mine, BHP

Diamond company Harry Winston agreed to purchase BHP Billiton’s Ekati mine in Canada and its marketing operations for the precious stones for $500 million. The deal is expected to close in the first quarter of next year, according to BHP.

Source: The Israeli Diamond Industry
Invested: Aeffe, Emanuel Ungaro

Aeffe has signed an exclusive partnership agreement with Emanuel Ungaro for the production and worldwide distribution of women’s clothing and accessories, as well as the option to acquire a significant minority share of Ungaro’s capital stock on achieving shared goals. The license will be active for a period of 7 years, with the option to renew.

Source: Aeffe

For more in the series of The Latest Investments, please see our most recent editions as follows:

The Latest Investments: Chanel, Marcolin & Orient Express
The Latest Investments: Anya Hindmarch, Berluti & Harry Winston
The Latest Investments: Coty, Porsche & Valentino


© Luxury Society, The Latest Investments: Aston Martin, Fabergé & Christopher Kane, 30 November 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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THE LATEST DIGITAL: CARTIER, PRADA & TOD’S

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An excerpt from Diane von Furstenberg’s Glossi

Montblanc teams up with Harrods to launch an in-store augmented reality experience, as Hermès partners with Harper’s Bazaar to retail a limited collection online.

In the past month the digital luxury landscape has been dominated by the moves of the media and retailers. As the New York times announced restructuring measures to the tune of thirty senior journalists, Net-a-Porter announced its intention to launch a full-blown fashion glossy.

As Rupert Murdoch confirmed he will shutter The Daily – the iPad-only magazine he launched two years ago – social-shopping company ThisNext unveiled Glossi, a platform which allows users and brands to create their very own digital magazines.

But perhaps nothing was more surprising, than to hear that Hermès will be retailing a selection of footwear on the eCommerce venture of fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar. Digital may have muddied the waters, but never have the lines between brand, retailer and publisher been so blurred.

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Boucheron, Website

Jeweller Boucheron has relaunched its website in the colours of the new visual identity of the maison. Visitors can browse the portal in English, French, Japanese and Simplified Chinese, or take a virtual 360-degree tour through the Boucheron flagship store at Paris’s Place Vendôme. For the first time, Boucheron is sharing the history of its founders and products, whilst boosting social connectivity with Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube integration.

Website & Source: boucheron.com

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Cartier, e-Commerce

Cartier has relaunched its e-Commerce offering in the United States, with an enhanced e-boutique and 360-degree product display and videos. Alongside the online boutique, the site offers information regarding after sales service, product maintenance and store locations, as well as dedicated sections to heritage, CSR projects, events, savoir-faire and social media.

Website: cartier.com
Source: Luxury Digital

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Ferrari, App

Ferrari has launched an App for brand fanatics, offering users the opportunity to discover its rich history, simulate driving, wake up to the sound of a V12, take Ferrari-themed photos with RedCam or personalise devices with wallpapers. Built for the iPhone and iPad, the app comprises of photo galleries, videos and factsheets about current and classic models as well as selected Sports Prototype and Formula 1 cars.

Download: Ferrari Mania
Source: Luxury Daily

Georg Jensen Holition Gesture Experience from Holition AR on Vimeo.

Georg Jensen, Augmented Reality

Holition has created a unique application for the special launch of George Jensen’s ‘Fusion Ring Builder’ website. The website was activated to run in store using gesture to drive product selection, simply by selecting product with a hand gesture. The user can play and see the separate components of the Fusion ring come together from all angles using the iPad, or use one of Georg Jensen’s personalised iPads at Harrods, Selfridges London and Selfridges Manchester.

Website: georgjensen.com
Developer: Holition
Source: Retail Jeweller

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Harper’s Bazaar, Hermès, eCommerce

Hermès is set to debut some of its products on ShopBazaar.com, the eCommerce site powered by fashion glossy Harper’s Bazaar. In the first e-commerce channel outside of its own website, the French luxury house will retail six shoe styles. “We thought it would be great to expand the introduction of Hermès footwear to Bazaar’s audience,” explained Hermès CEO USA Robert Chavez.

Website: ShopBazaar.com
Source: Fashion United

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Luxure, iPad

Luxure has launched its inaugural iPad Edition, in a bid to showcase its existing magazine content in the most spectacular, insightful and explorative of climates. The iPad Edition of Luxure will provide insight into an array of photography complemented by the new retina display, alongside rich additional content via audio, video and animation.

Download & Source: Luxure

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Montblanc, Virtual Pop-Up

Harrods London and Montblanc UK collaborated to produce a virtual pop-up store, featuring an extensive selection of artworks from the Montblanc Cutting Edge Art Collection, permanently exhibited in Hamburg. By pointing a smartphone or tablet at the image displayed in one of the Montblanc Harrods windows, users could not only view the artworks, but purchase four exclusive Montblanc products through Harrods.

Website & Source: montblanc.com

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Prada, iPad

In celebration of its Fall Winter 2012 menswear show in Paris, Prada collaborated with fashion illustrator Richard Haines, to produce a limited edition book featuring 150 artworks based on the collection. In the final chapter of the project the Italian brand has launched an iPad application, allowing users to take an interactive tour of a virtual palazzo designed by James Lima, to discover both the artworks and collection.

Download: Il Palazzo
Source: Prada

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Shanghai Tang, App

In time for the holiday season, Shanghai Tang has launched apps on Facebook and Sina Weibo, allowing fans to create Christmas wish lists according to their Chinese zodiac sign and share it with their friends. The wish list is focused on Shanghai Tang’s Christmas collection of homeware, displayed in an animated kaleidoscope, and users can then personalise the products they want to include prior to sharing the final wish list with their friends.

Apps: Facebook, Sina Weibo

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Whitewall, Website

Whitewall is pleased to announce the launch of the new beta version of Whitewallmag.com, which will continue to cover contemporary art, luxury lifestyle, fashion, and design, and how these industries intersect. Debuting on the eve of Art Basel Miami Beach (ABMB) 2012, the site will focus exclusively on pre- and day-to-day coverage of the fair.

Source: whitewallmag.com

For more in the series of The Latest Digital, please see our most recent editions as follows:

The Latest Digital: Balmain, Yoox & Mandarin Oriental
The Latest Digital: Versace, Balenciaga & Ritz-Carlton
The Latest Digital: BMW, Maserati & Salvatore Ferragamo


© Luxury Society, The Latest Digital: Cartier, Prada & Tod’s, 05 December 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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THE LATEST BOUTIQUES: HUBLOT, AUDI & CHANEL

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Dior Homme’s latest store in Miami

Burberry debuts retail as theatre in Chicago, Marni launches in three Chinese Mainland cities, as Hublot takes to the Philippines, United States, China & UAE.

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Audi, Ahmedabad, Dubai

Audi in partnership with Nixynova Motoren Pvt. Ltd have moved into a bigger showroom in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, which will now display entire range of Audi cars that is on offer in the country.

The luxury brand has also opened its largest dealership in Dubai with local dealer Al Nabooda Automobiles, which will be display up to 57 new vehicles over three levels. The Audi Terminal Dubai features floor-to-ceiling screens displaying the complete Audi model range including all equipment options, features and technical details on a 1:1 scale.

Source: Rush Lane, Motor Authority

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Boucheron, Hong Kong

Boucheron has debuted a new retail design concept in Hong Kong, a model that will be replicated across all the brand’s stores starting with an overhaul in Paris. The 80sqm space has been designed with luminosity in mind, harking back to the first atelier on Paris’ Place Vendome, where the workshop was flooded with light that highlighted the brilliance of the stones.

Source: FashionMag

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Breguet, Abu Dhabi

Breguet has unveiled its latest boutique in Abu Dhabi, located in the high standing commercial building “Etihad Towers”. The 32nd monobrand boutique worldwide showcases a mix of timepieces and gem-set Haute Joaillerie creations across 60sqm, in keeping with its global retail design concept launched in 2012.

Source: Breguet
Burberry, Chicago

Burberry has launched its second largest store in North America in Chicago, meshing digital, entertainment and fashion in one seamless experience across five-floors. The store houses the first beauty consultation counter in North America and will carry an exclusive, limited edition collection of outerwear and non-apparel for both men and women, created to celebrate Burberry in Chicago.

Source: Brand Channel

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Chanel Timepieces, Paris

Chanel has opened its first dedicated watch store in Europe on the first floor of Paris department store Galeries Lafayette, to house its Première and J12 lines in addition to the new Mademoiselle Privé collection. The 25sqm concession is decorated in the brand’s signature black, beige and gold.

Source: WWD

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Chopard, Abu Dhabi

Chopard has launched its latest boutique at Abu Dhabi’s Marina Mall, in partnership with Abu Dhabi distributor Al Manara International Jewellery. Created by architect Thierry Despont, the décor reflects that of a welcoming living room boasting fine woods for the floors and leather for the wall panels, store fixtures and furniture fronts and luscious velvet for curtains and upholstery.

Source: Luxos

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Christian Louboutin, London

Christian Louboutin has unveiled its first store dedicated to men in the United Kingdom, to carry a range of shoes, sneakers, bags and accessories. The 170sqm Dover Street flagship has been realised by New York architects 212box, the same architects responsible for Christian Louboutin stores worldwide.

Source: FashionMag

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Dior Homme, Miami

Dior Homme is the latest brand to launch in Miami’s new Design District, showcasing sleek architecture, minimalist decor, and luxe materials. To highlight the opening, Dior Homme collaborated with artist and photographer, Bruce Weber, to curate an exclusive film titled, “Can I Make the Music Fly,” that can be viewed here.

Source: The Fashionisto

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Elie Saab, Geneva

Elie Saab has opened a new 155sqm boutique overlooking Lake Leman in Geneva, Switzerland. Saab himself, in collaboration with architect Chakib Richani, has designed the dual-level space. The store will showcase the designer’s accessories and ready-to-wear items from both the autumn and winter 2012-2013 and pre-fall 2012 collections.

Source: VMSD

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Eterniti, London

London-based boutique luxury carmaker, Eterniti Motors, has officially launched its first showroom with a 930sqm facility in Park Royal, northwest London. Eterniti-owned showrooms will open in Asia in 2013, beginning with Hong Kong, which will serve as the company’s Asia-Pacific hub.

Source: Eterniti

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Georg Jensen, London

Danish luxury lifestyle brand Georg Jensen, has unveiled its newest concession in Selfridges, London, designed by British architects Mark Pinney Associates. The 20sqm space is housed within the store’s designer jewellery room, showcasing fine jewellery, luxury fashion jewellery as well as the heritage range and contemporary silver pieces.

Source: Retail Jeweller

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Gucci, Gurgaon

Gucci has opened its fifth and largest store in India at The Oberoi in Gurgaon, New Delhi, in keeping with the new design concept by Creative Director Frida Giannini. The near-400sqm space has been realised in ribbed glass, warm polished gold, smoked mirror and smoked bronze glass, recalling the elegance and richness of the Art Deco era.

Source: Daily Mail

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Hublot, Atlanta, Abu Dhabi, Dalian, Manila

Hublot has unveiled the first of five North American boutiques to open in the coming three years, with a 92sqm space in Atlanta, operated in partnership with Ares Distributors. The brand has also opened a second boutique in Abu Dhabi, and a second boutique in Dalian, in partnership with Jinhua Watch & Jewellery.

Finally, the very first Hublot boutique in the Philippines has debuted at the newly opened Bonifacio High Street Central mall, Manila. The boutique design concept creatively reflects Hublot’s DNA of luxury and innovative design, bringing to life its vision of fusion.

Source: Hublot

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Ittierre, Milan

Ittierre Group – producer of contemporary lines such as Pierre Balmain, C’N’C, Aquascutum, GF Ferré, Galliano and Karl Lagerfeld Paris – has debuted its first temporary department store in Milan. Housed over 1000sqm in Palazzo Gallarati Scotti, IT’S 30 MANZONI will offer principal collections of the group’s licensed brands.

Source: Vogue Italia

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IWC, Beijing, Miami, Sao Paulo

IWC has unveiled flagship boutiques in Beijing, Miami & Sao Paulo. The Beijing store features a 300sqm bi-level glass cube facade, a brainchild of in-house designers and architects. Each boutique is fitted out with sumptuous dark woods and exquisite materials, inviting customers to explore the six fascinating watch families along with boutique-exclusive editions.

Source: IWC

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Jaguar Land Rover, Beijing

Jaguar Land Rover has inaugurated its100th retail space in China, with the Beijing Changjiushida 4S Center in the heart of the city. The state-of-the-art repair centre and showroom, operated in partnership with the Changjiu Group, will have a workforce of around 110 people.

Source: Luxuo

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Jitrois, Beijing

In partnership with Keyijili Ltd, Jean-Claude Jitrois has opened a flagship store in Beijing, marking the brands first boutique in Asia. The 250sqm space has been designed by Christophe Pillet, the architect responsible for all of the brands stores, in a luxury shopping centre in the Chaoyang district of the Chinese capital.

Source: FashionMag

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Marni, Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenyang

Marni has unveiled three Chinese flagship boutiques, in Shanghai’s REEL shopping centre, Nanjing’s Deji Plaza and a store in Shenyang, brining its presence to nine locations in the country. Marni creative director Consuelo Castiglioni worked closely with architecture firm Sybarite, the creators of the brand’s Beijing store, to create the spaces.

Source: Luxuo

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Montblanc, Abu Dhabi

Montblanc has opened its latest boutique in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, offering the exclusive Bespoke Nib Service, which is currently available in just four Montblanc boutiques worldwide. The store will house luxury watches, jewellery and leather goods, as well as writing instruments and its customisation service. Curacao boutique pictured

Source: Luxos

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Pucci, New York City

Pucci creative director Peter Dundas has unveiled the world’s largest Pucci store in New York, designed in collaboration with French architect Joseph Dirand, modelled after the Palazzo Pucci in Florence. The 250sqm store will form the design basis for future retail locations and feature the entire collection of Pucci ready-to-wear and accessories.

Source: Bloginity

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TAG Heuer, Geneva

TAG Heuer has opened its first boutique in Geneva, with a 100sqm space located on Rue Robert-Céard. The store will house the brand’s Lifestyle collection of accessories, as well as a range of sunglasses and luxury communication devices, Meridiist, Link and Racer, specially conceived by TAG Heuer.

Source: FHH

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Vacheron Constantin, Lucerne

Vacheron Constantin has chosen Lucerne, in German-speaking Switzerland, for its latest boutique at 10 Kapellplatz. This warm and intimate setting is designed to offer a full immersion into the world of a company combining tradition with dynamic creativity.

Source: FHH

For more in the series of The Latest Boutiques, please see our most recent editions as follows:

The Latest Boutiques: Chloé, Brioni & Shang Xia
The Latest Boutiques: Berluti, Dior & Saint Laurent Paris
The Latest Boutiques: Hublot, Breguet & Assouline


© Luxury Society, The Latest Boutiques: Hublot, Audi & Chanel, 10 December 2012, by Sophie Doran.


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